Law Professor Testifies: Antifa Targets ‘Republicans,’ ‘Fear And Intimidation’ Worst Ever On Campuses

   DailyWire.com
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution during a hearing about "anarchist violence" in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill August 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee heard from a variety of witnesses on topics ranging from peaceful protest by Black Lives Matter demonstrators to actions by the decentralized antifascist group known as antifa in Portland, Oregon.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Jonathan Turley, Constitutional Law Professor at George Washington University, issued a dire warning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday: “Antifa is winning.”

“If you go through the antifa handbook and look at their literature, it’s quite express, as stated in the handbook, they reject the premise of what they call a classical liberal view of free speech,” Turley said. “Specifically they object to statements like, ‘I may disagree with what you have to say, but I would give my life to defend it.’ They reject that. They believe that free speech itself is a tool of oppression.”

“And that has been the message on campuses. What I thought was disturbing about these statements that antifa is a myth is that many of us on campus have been dealing with antifa for years. And antifa is winning,” Turley continued. “I’ve been teaching for 30 years. I have never seen the level of fear and intimidation on campuses that we see today. Faculty are afraid to speak out about issues. We can’t have a dialogue about the important issues occurring today because there’s a fear that you might be accused of being reactionary or racist.”

“We’ve had law professors who have been physically attacked, have required police protection. That’s the environment that we’re developing,” Turley continued. “And for people that think that antifa and groups like it can be allies, they don’t know antifa. Those of us who have been teaching on campuses can tell you about these groups. And the alarm that I have is because I’m watching my profession, the teaching profession, die, with free speech. … We’re seeing, many of these speakers are being prevented from speaking on campus under various theories. And the message is clear to faculty; it’s clear to students – there’s a new orthodoxy that you should not confront and you certainly shouldn’t disagree with.”

“There are some Democratic politicians that have not only failed to denounce antifa, but have actually, in that case, seemed to give it a shout out,” Turley concluded. “If you go to campuses today, you will find more advocates for limiting speech than protecting it. They’re winning … it’s very disturbing because antifa’s not coming after … Democrats, they’re coming after Republicans, conservatives, and those of us in the free speech community. They’re coming after us. But don’t think we’ll be the last ones. That’s not how this works.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Professor Turley, you testified that antifa is profoundly anti-speech and violent. Can you elaborate on that, please?

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR JONATHAN TURLEY: Yes. If you go through the antifa handbook and look at their literature, it’s quite express, as stated in the handbook, they reject the premise of what they call a classical liberal view of free speech. Specifically they object to statements like, ‘I may disagree with what you have to say, but I would give my life to defend it.’ They reject that. They believe that free speech itself is a tool of oppression.

And that has been the message on campuses. What I thought was disturbing about these statements that antifa is a myth is that many of us on campus have been dealing with antifa for years. And antifa is winning. There is a tremendous movement, an anti-free speech movement in the United States. My testimony doesn’t really go to these protests. I think that both the far-right and far-left are doing bad things in these protests. Antifa members have been arrested in these protests. Antifa groups like Rose City Antifa have been leading some of these efforts.

But my greater concern, and the one that I would hope that members would look at, is this anti-free speech movement that antifa is part of. I’ve been teaching for 30 years. I have never seen the level of fear and intimidation on campuses that we see today. Faculty are afraid to speak out about issues. We can’t have a dialogue about the important issues occurring today because there’s a fear that you might be accused of being reactionary or racist.

We’ve had law professors who have been physically attacked, have required police protection. That’s the environment that we’re developing. And for people that think that antifa and groups like it can be allies, they don’t know antifa. Those of us who have been teaching on campuses can tell you about these groups. And the alarm that I have is because I’m watching my profession, the teaching profession, die, with free speech. Administrators are not protecting academic freedom; why should they protect free speech?

We’re seeing, many of these speakers are being prevented from speaking on campus under various theories. And the message is clear to faculty; it’s clear to students – there’s a new orthodoxy that you should not confront and you certainly shouldn’t disagree with. And I go through those details in my testimony.

CRUZ: So professor Turley, I very much agree with you that we ought to be united in condemning violence from whatever ideological origin it comes from – whether right-wing, left-wing, or no wing at all. If you’re committing violence against fellow Americans, that ought to be condemned, you ought to be arrested, you ought to be prosecuted; you ought to go to jail. I do think it is striking that in the entire course of this hearing, seven Democratic senators spoke in this hearing. Not a single Democratic senator condemned antifa. Not a one of them condemned antifa’s violence and terrorism. Do you think it is harmful that — the sitting attorney general of Minnesota, a Democrat, posed with the book you just held up in your testimony, the antifa handbook, gleefully modeling it? Do you think it is helpful for elected Democrats to be holding out a violent, anti-speech organization like antifa, and acting essentially as apologists for it? Is that good for our democracy?

TURLEY: I criticized Mr. Ellison for that tweet. There are some Democratic politicians that have not only failed to denounce antifa, but have actually, in that case, seemed to give it a shout out. In that case, Mr. Ellison said that they would put the fear in the heart of Donald Trump. But what he doesn’t see is that antifa is putting fear in the hearts of many people other than Donald Trump. If you go to campuses today, you will find more advocates for limiting speech than protecting it. They’re winning. When you see pictures like Mr. Ellison’s picture with antifa, it’s very disturbing because antifa’s not coming after him, they’re not even coming after Democrats, they’re coming after Republicans, conservatives, and those of us in the free speech community. They’re coming after us. But don’t think we’ll be the last ones. That’s not how this works.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

Create a free account to join the conversation!